Despite the promise of the title, this is not so much a study of second-generation American Buddhists as it is a work of advocacy and theory. Baker repeatedly emphasizes that the presentation and study of Buddhism in the United States has been biased to accentuate the roles played by first-generation counterculture converts—mostly Beats and Hippies—with a corresponding neglect of Asian American, Native American, African American, Latino, and second, third and succeeding generations of practitioners. He locates the source of this distortion in the romantic idealism and self-importance of first-generation converts and the uncritical assumptions of the scholars who study them. Racism, colonialism, ageism, and white privilege all play their roles as well. Baker examines film, literature, and academic writing to support his arguments.

Baker’s role as an advocate is clear in his plea for more scholarly focus on diverse populations to fill the gaping holes in the historical narrative of...

You do not currently have access to this content.